The Senior Pastor of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly, Biodun Fatoyinbo, has reacted to the suit accusing him of raping then 17-year-old Busola, now a mother of three and wife to Timi Dakolo, an inspirational singer.
In his preliminary objection, which he filed against the suit on Friday, September 20, 2019, Fatoyinbo told the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja where the suit was instituted that the prayers contained in the case were ‘ungrantable.’
Describing the suit as being statute-barred, having not been filed within three years of the occurrence of the event complained about, Fatoyinbo urged the court to dismiss the suit without the need to hear its substance.
He maintained that the prayers in the suit “are ungrantable” by the court, adding that the suit is frivolous and a palpable abuse of court process.
His team of lawyers led by Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), maintained that the suit could not be pursued, while her allegation of rape against the cleric and her claim that the pastor caused her emotional distress remain a subject of Police investigation.
He also accused the plaintiff of an attempt to scandalize and embarrass him by going to the Press about the suit before even serving it on him.
The Executive Senior Assistant to Fatoyinbo, Mr. Ademola Adetuberu, deposed to the affidavit filed in support of the suit.
Busola sued Fatoyinbo before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja for allegedly raping her in 2002, an incident she claimed had adversely affected her marital life.
In her writ of summons, the plaintiff asked the court to, among others, compel Fatoyinbo to publish an apology to her on the front page of at least two national newspapers and air same on two national televisions for seven days running consecutively.
The suit was instituted on her behalf by her lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi.
Busola had, in June, leveled the rape allegation against Fatoyinbo, claiming that he had sexual intercourse with her on September 23 and 26, 2002, and caused her continuous emotional distress, which she said was intentional.
Meanwhile, in his preliminary objection, pastor Fatoyinbo maintained that the suit was grossly incompetent. He further argued that the court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain a suit that is frivolous and amounted to “palpable abuse of court process”.
In a 14-paragraphed affidavit that was deposed to by one Ademola Adetuberu who identified himself as Executive Senior Assistant to Pastor Fatoyinbo, he told the court that the substratum of the claimant’s suit was “the mere purported allegation of emotional and psychological distress as a result of the said purported mere allegation of rape against the Defendant”.
‘That I am aware that the Claimant made an allegation of rape and emotional distress before the Nigeria Police Force against the Defendant which is still a subject of investigation”. He told the court that Mrs Dakolo and her lawyer had after they filed the suit, leaked the documents to both electronic and print media organizations, with the story widely shared on the internet “to embarrass and scandalize the Defendant”.
Consequently, in his counter-claim, Pastor Fatoyinbo prayed the court to award a cost of N50m, jointly and severally against the Claimant and her Solicitor. Busola had about two months ago, made a shocking revelation in a detailed interview with Chude Jideonwo, a lawyer and journalist, recounting how as a teenager, she was allegedly repeatedly raped by the Abuja-based cleric. Pastor Fatoyinbo had since denied the allegation, insisting that it was a deliberate effort to damage his reputation.